2 thoughts on “Personality”

  1. Freud’s theory of personality focuses on the way in which the psychosexual development of children unfolds from the very early stage of life. Erik Erikson takes this focus further to include the societal influences which he believes to play an important role in shaping of one’s personality. According to Freud, a child passes through five stages i.e. the oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latency stage, and the genital stage, each stage offering a conflict to be resolved. The manner in which these conflicts are resolved largely determine the personality of the child. Too much gratification or frustration of the needs of the child at any one stage leads to fixation at that stage. Erik Erickson extended this concept of conflicts to include the societal influences. According to him, a child passes through eight stages of development and is faced with a unique crisis at each stage, the successful or unsuccessful resolution of which determines the overall personality of the child as an adult. The successful resolution of a crisis develops a sense of mastery and competence in the child while a poorly managed crisis results in a feeling of inadequacy. Thus, unlike Freud who based his concept on sex drives, Erikson’s theory laid more emphasis on the impact of social experiences.

  2. The right approach :
    Here students are not required to discuss what’re Freudian and Erikson models of psychology. The precise answer should focus upon explaining how Erikson extended Freud’s theory of personality.
    Many students have sent their answers but most of them have unnecessarily discussed all the eight stages of Erikson’s model in detail. The following hints will guide you what you should emphasize in the answer.

    The model answer outline :
    Erikson extended Freud’s theory of personality in four important ways :
    1. He elaborated the constructive roles of the ego. Freud emphasized the defensive roles only. He made the strength of the ego ( virtues) explicit.
    2. Going beyond the sexuality and aggressive instincts he acknowledged the role of social forces in shaping one’s personality. he renamed psychosexual as psycho social development just to emphasize the point.
    3. Erikson extended the concept of personality(ego) development for the entire life. Ego development beyond adolescence period and the resulting virtues of love, care and wisdom have been emphasized by Erikson where social forces are critically important than sexual force.
    4. Erikson also recognized the roles of history and culture in shaping one’s personality. His case studies of the two native American tribes – the Sioux and Yurok were to underscore such influence.

    # Students are advised to elaborate these points. I hope this will help you write more precise answers in future.
    * Kindly ignore the typing mistake, if any.
    Arun Kumar
    Faculty of psychology
    Beautiful Mind IAS

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